AUG 24, 2016 12:16 PM PDT

Are We All Natural-Born Liars?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

White lies, fibs, blatant exaggerations, lies of omission - we've all done it before. And not just once, either. We'll all probably lie again in future circumstances too. But why do we lie? Furthermore, why do people in the public spotlight, like Ryan Lochte, lie despite the exorbitant risks of being caught?

Though not morally or socially acceptable, scientists say lying is ingrained in our genetics. It starts with evolution - our ancestors lied as a way to get members to cooperate. It's a way to further the survival of the individual, and thus, the entire species.

As for Ryan Lochte, what was the motivation behind his exaggeration? It's hard to say. If an evolutionary biologist could speculate, they may say it was a way to get more attention and possibly attract more mates. But whatever the motive, it seemed to have backfired big time.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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